President-elect Donald Trump wasted no time taking credit for the thousands of new and returning American jobs announced by Sprint on Wednesday—opportunities which, as many are pointing out, the real estate mogul had very little to do with.
Speaking to reporters from his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, Trump said Wednesday: "Because of what's happening and the spirit and the hope I was just called by the head people at Sprint and they're going to be bringing 5,000 jobs back to the United States."
"Also," he continued, "OneWeb, a new company is going to be hiring 3,000 people so that is very exciting."
Later, he doubled down on that claim saying: "Because of me they're doing 5,000 jobs in this country."
And while most corporate media outlets allowed the incoming president to pat his own back for the economic boost, some digging revealed that not only had Trump previously touted those very same jobs, as MarketWatch's Mike Murphy pointed out, but they were the result of a deal that predated his election victory.
"Here's the problem," wrote Engadget's Timothy Seppala. "Despite what Trump and the press release from Sprint said (and what its CEO recently tweeted), these jobs were part of a previous announcement from Softbank (Sprint's parent company) CEO Masayoshi Son—not the direct result of working with Trump."
When I reached out to a Sprint spokeswoman asking if the announcement was a direct result of working with Trump or part of a pre-existing deal, she copy and pasted the press release I'd sent along with my first email. I responded saying I already had the press release and asked again if this was a direct result of working with Trump or part of a pre-existing deal in place. I tagged Sprint in a tweet about the situation, and it wasn't until after that started getting retweeted that the spokesperson responded.
"This is part of the 50,000 jobs that Masa previously announced," she said. "This total will be a combination of newly created jobs and bringing some existing jobs back to the U.S."
"While it's understandable why the business community wishes to remain on Trump's good side, it doesn't do America any favors when Trump gets credit for creating jobs without actually having to do anything," wrote Salon's Matthew Rozsa.
The Softbank jobs were part of a $100 billion tech investment deal first reported by the Wall Street Journal back in October, when Trump was still neck deep in the presidential campaign.
"This is where we are, folks," Seppala added. "Our president-elect is tying his name to something he didn't have anything to do with, much like he did with 'saving' 1,100 jobs at HVAC company Carrier, including 300 that weren't moving to Mexico in the first place."
Trump's misleading claims over the Carrier jobs earlier this month sparked a high-profile fight between the incoming president and a local union leader who called him out for "pull[ing] a dog and pony show with the numbers."